On premise catering is when food is prepared and served at the physical location of a certain catering service. This could be a restaurant or a hotel where people are gathered for an event. Off premise catering happens when a caterer prepares food on their premises and have it transported by food trucks to the location of an event where it is served to guests. Food on an off premise catering is kept warm by buffet warmers and just a few caterers are on site to take care of the guests’ orders. This article looks at how these two types of catering services are different.
- Number of Guests
With on premise catering, the number of guests you can have in your event is limited mainly because of the size of the physical size of the premise, a restaurant in this case. For example, if the caterer has one whole floor of a building as their premises, the highest number of guests you can have at your event is around 50.
On the other hand, with off premise catering, you can have any number of guests, as long as you can afford to have them all taken care of. The open air space allows you to have a large number of tables set, compared to on premise catering. This type of catering requires the caterer and the shopper to have adequate planning beforehand to ensure the needs of every guests are attended to. This is because with this type of catering, it is highly likely to have more guests than you had prepared for, hence the need for extra tables and food servings.
- Types of Services
With off premise catering, you are simply shopping for menus and service. This is because with this type of service, you are not at liberty to choose much of service types and styles. The most common type of service is usually buffet where your guests line up and proceed to serving themselves or the caterers can serve them with their favorite type of meals.
With on premise catering, you are at liberty of choosing extra services, apart from food. You could have your guests enjoy music at the dance floor. The premise could be a revolving restaurant where guests have a view of the city. You could have the guests challenge each other in karaoke singing. In short, with on premise catering, you do not just shop- for food and service; you also get to enjoy other treats that you cannot get with off premise catering.
On premise catering is your best choice if convenience is your main area of concern. The reason behind this is that the area could be one large open space that is known to many people. It also means that you are free from weather elements such as rain and hot sun. In addition to this, you will be at liberty of ordering the caterers from time to time, since all you need is readily available.
With off premise catering, convenience might be a challenge. The reasoning behind this is that is that you do not get to enjoy the availability of ready caterers because they cannot come with everything on the site. Furthermore, the location could be hectic to access in a city or town. It could also mean negotiating heavy traffic, which could be very tiring, and time consuming before you find your way through.
- Cost of Service
On premise catering is a little more expensive because of the variety of extra services offered to you and your guests. For this reason, the cost is usually a bit higher. In addition, the caterer has to pay for other things such as utility bills, larger number of service staff, personnel and rent.
Off premise catering on the other hand is a little inexpensive bearing in mind that you enjoy just a limited number of treats. In addition, the number of catering staff is relatively low, which means the caterer does not ask much. In addition, the caterer is not paying for utility bills and rent, hence this becomes your bargaining point.
Between on premise and off premise catering, there is none which can be said to better than the other. Your choice will depend on the nature of your event, size of your budget, number of guests and the season of the year in which you are planning to hold your event. However expensive an on premise catering is, you will reap all the benefits of specialized services that come with it.